Newest Grandmaster Named
SFWA has announced that Robert Silverberg will be named the next Science Fiction Grand Master at this year's Nebula Awards Banquet. Silverberg published his first story, "Gorgon Planet," in Nebula magazine in 1954.
Since then, Silverberg has published countless stories and books under a variety of pseudonyms. He has edited several anthologies and been the recipient of four Hugo Awards, including "Most Promising New Author" in 1956. five Nebula Awards, a Retro-Hugo, and is a living inductee into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame.
Spamalot to Open in Chicago
Spamalot, the Broadway musical based on the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail is set to open at Chicago's Schubert Theatre for its final rehearsals from December 21 through January 16. The creative director of the musical will be Mike Nichols working from a book by Eric Idle with music by Idle and John Du Prez. The show is expected to open on Broadway in April 2005. Recent Broadway hits "The Producers" and "Movin' Out"
also held their final rehearsals in Chicago.
Comet Lander Launch Postponed
High winds caused the European Space Agency to postpone the planned February 26 launch of the Rosetta spacecraft to February 27. On February 27, a falling piece of foam once again postponed the spacecraft's launch. The next possible date for a launch is March 2.
Two Antarctic Dinosaurs Discovered
Two new species of dinosaur have been discovered in Antarctica. A 1.8 meter tall carnivore was discovered on James Ross Island near the Antarctic Peninsula. The discoverers believe it lived about 70 million years ago. Another team of paleontologists have discovered the remains of a 200 million-year-old herbivore on Mt. Kilpatrick, approximately 3900 meters above sea level.
Archaologists believe they have found the remains of the HMS Beagle beneath a marsh in Essex. The Beagle, which was first launched in 1820, was the boat on which Charles Darwin sailed more than a decade later on a voyage which helped him develop the theory of evolution. The Beagle later became a coastguard vessel and it was sold for scrap in 1870.
Historic Spacewalk Shortened
A spacewalk planned for February 26 was shorter than anticipated due to technical malfunctions. The spacewalk was the first in history to leave the International Space Station completely unmanned as both men serving on the station, cosmonaut Alexander Kaleri and astronaut Michael Foale, both suited up and left the habitat. Three hours into the walk, Kaleri reported moisture on the inside of his helmet which may have indicated a malfunction in the suit's temperature control unit. The spacewalk ended about ninety minutes early.
Fforde Wins Dilys Award
British author Jasper Fforde won the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association Dilys Award for his novel Lost in a Good Book. The Dilys Award was created in 1993 and is presented to the mystery title member booksellers have most enjoyed selling during the previous year. The award is named for Dilys Winn, the founder of the first mystery specialty bookstore in the US.
Coins Proves Emperor Existed
According to a couple of ancient texts, the Roman General Domitianus was ousted for treason after setting himself up as emperor in Britain. His reign lasted a mere four days. Brian Malin, a British tresure hunter, recently discovered a trove of coins which included a single coin with Domitianus's image on it, the first proof that he actually did try to establish himself as emperor. A similar coin had been found in France about 100 years ago, but was deemed a forgery.
Comet Lander to be Launched
The European Space Agency plans to launch the Rosetta spacecraft on Thursday from its Kourou launch facility in French Guiana. The rocket will rendezvous with comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.in 2014 and land on the comet's nucleus, the first spacecraft to make such a landing.
Samuel Earl Konkin III (b.1947) died on February 23. Konkin was a member of the New York University Science Fiction Club and a founder of apa-nu.
A proponent of libertarianism, he published the fanzine New Libertarian Notes after he moved to California.
Isaac Asimov Award Winners
The winners of the Isaac Asimov Award for Undergraduate Excellence in Science-Fiction and Fantasy Writing have been announced. The award was established by Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine and the International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts to recognize excellence in writing by undergraduate students. This year's winner is Anthony Ha, of Stanford University, for the story "Orbiting." Second place was awarded to Barbara Wright, of the University of Houston, for "Community," and third place went to Amelia Beamer, from Michigan State University, for "Assisted Living." Mr. Ha will receive $500, an invitation to the IAFA Conference in Florida, and possibly have his entry published in Asimov's.
Dinosaurs in India
Crews digging to erect a telephone tower in Balasinore, India, uncovered a large round stone. The stone turned out to be the fossilized remains of a 65 million year old dinosaur egg weighing 4 kilograms. Last August, bones from a new species of dinosaur, the Rajasaurus narmadensis, were discovered twenty kilometers from Balasinore in Raioli.
King Tops 1 Billion
"The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" has become only the second film ever to top one billion dollars in worldwide theatrical sales, becomes the fastest film to ever reach that level in only ten weeks. The only other film to reach 1 billion was Titanic, which earned
Student Science Fiction and Fantasy Contest
Noreascon 4 and Baltimore Worldcon 1998 have announced the continuation of the Student Science Fiction and Fantasy Contest which was instituted at Bucconeer in 1998. The contest has three categories,: short story, artwork and science essay, and prizes will be awarded for three age groups in each category. Entries must be postmarked by March 31, 2004 and sent to Student Science Fiction and Fantasy Contest, POB 314, Annapolis Junction, MD 20701. For more information, see http://www.bucconeer.worldcon.org/contest/index.htm.
New Fan Fund Announced
The MiNoFF, Middle of Nowhere Fan Fund, has been created to provide financial assistance to fans who live in the "middle of nowhere" in the US or Canada to travel to a North American science fiction convention.
The first winner is Terry Hickman of Nebraska. Terry will travel to Baycon and receive $250 cash and hotel accommodations. The prize is given to people who do not live near any large conventions and the convention to which they travel is selected by the winner.
Fire at Indian Space Center
Numerous people were injured and at least six killed when a fire broke out at the Satish Dhawan Space Center on Sriharikota Island, the main launch facility for the Indian space program. An triggered the fire at the center's solid propellant plant. A number of successful satellite launches have taken place at Sriharikota.
Screen Actors Guild Awards
The cast of the "Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" won the Screen Actors Guild Award for best cast and Johnny Depp won the Best Actor award for his role as Captain Jack Sparrow in "Pirates of the
Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl."
Scientists Question Administration Science Integrity
A group of more than 60 scientists, including twenty Nobel Laureates, released a report last week accusing the Bush Administration of systematically distorting scientific fact in the service of policy goals on the environment, health, biomedical research and nuclear weaponry at home and abroad. Noting that other administrations have also distorted science for the benefit of their policies, the statement notes that none had done so as "systemically nor on so wide a front" as the current one.
Speculative Literature Foundation Forms Co-Op
The Speculative Literature Foundation has announced the formation of a small press co-op. The co-op will help small presses within the science fiction, fantasy and horror genres co-operate on projects and exchange useful information. In addition, the co-op will sponsor convention parties with the first such held at Wiscon in Madison, Wisconsin. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deep Space Object Found Beyond Pluto
On February 17, the Near Earth Asteroid Tracking survey has discovered a world of ice and rock orbiting the sun 2.4 billion miles beyond Pluto's orbit. Called 2004 DW, it is estimated to have a diameter between 840 and 1800 km. The largest non-planetary object found orbiting the sun was discovered by NEAT in 2002 and named Quaoar. With a maximum size of 1400km, Quaoar may prove to be smaller than 2004 DW. Scientists are scouring photographs from the past few years and have already discovered other images of 2004 DW.
SpecFicWorld Writers Contest
SpecFicWorld.com's Annual Speculative Fiction contest is open to submissions. First prize is $150 plus publication in Rogue Worlds and the Best of Rogue Worlds. Additional cash prizes and publication will also be given. There is a $6 entrance fee for the first story and $2 fee for each additional story. The deadline is March 15, 2004. Full contest rules can be found at http://www.specficworld.com/contest.html.
Shuttles to Resume in 2005
NASA has bumped the resumption of shuttle launches until 2005. Current plans are for Discovery to launch in March 2005. For the first time, a second shuttle will be prepped for launch so Atlantis will be able to be launched on a rescue mission if necessary. Discovery's orbit will also allow the astronauts to dock at the International Space Station if necessary. The shuttle fleet has been grounded since the space shuttle Columbia was destroyed during reentry over Texas on February 1, 2003.
Comic book letterer Bill Oakley died of cancer around February 17.
Oakley has worked on titles including the JLA, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and Transformers.
The WB has announced that it will not renew the Joss Whedon series "Angel" after this season. In making the announcement early, the network is allowing Whedon to plan a finale to the series. Although there was speculation that Whedon might try to move "Angel" to UPN, as he did with "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," Whedon has dismissed the possibility.
Disney Acquires Muppets
Disney, which currently is facing an hostile takeover attempt from Comcast, has announced the acquisition of the Muppets from Jim Henson Productions. Merger discussions began before Henson's sudden 1990 death, but stalled and his children sold the Muppets to German EM-TV in 2000.
Henson's children bought the company back in 2003.
Black Hole Destroys Star
Scientists have announced the first strong evidence of a black hole stretching, tearing apart, and swallowing a star. Although this type of event had long been predicted, the discovery of a powerful X-Ray blast from the galaxy J1242-11, located 700 million light years away, has led an international team of astronomers to believe they were witnessing the destruction of a star. They believe the black hole has a mass 100 million times that of the sun and the destroyed star was similar is size to the sun. The black hole consumed between 1% and 25% of the star's mass.
Nautilius Awards Created
Nominations are now open for the newly created Nautilius Awards, founded to honor the best Polish science fiction of the previous year. The nominees will be announced on April 15 with the winners named at ConQuest in Cracow, the weekend of May 1-3. The awards are being sponsored by Science Fiction Magazine (www.sciencie-fiction.pl).
Kurd Laßwitz Preis Nominations Announced
The Kurd Laßwitz Preis is presented to science fiction works published in Germany during the preceding year. The winners are selected by German SF professionals.
Best German Language Novel:
Frank Böhmert, Die Sternenhorcher
Andreas Eschbach, Der Letzte seiner Art
Markus Heitz, Aeternitas
H.D. Klein, Phainomenon
Reinhard Köhrer, Menschenspuren
André Wiesler, Shelley
Best German Language Short Fiction:
Arno Behrend, "Prägenesis"
Christian Fischer, "Don't Make Me Come Down There"
Björn Jagnow, "Bildschirmarbeitsplatz"
Thorsten Küper, »Radio Orbit«
Florian Marzin, »Palimpsest«
Mario Moritz, »Die letzten Bioform«
Nessun Saprà, »Geschichte vom Fall und Untergang eines Schriftstellers«
Barbara Slawig, »Pakettage«
Angela & Karlheinz Steinmüller, »Vor der Zeitreise«
Angela & Karlheinz Steinmüller, »Das Internetz in den Händen der Arbeiterklasse«
Best Translated Work:
Iain Banks, Blicke windwärts (Look to Windward)
Stephen Baxter, Ursprung (Origin)
John Clute, Sternentanz (Appleseed)
Nancy Farmer, Das Skorpionenhaus (The House of the Scorpion)
China Miéville, König Ratte (King Rat)
Tatjana Tolstaja, Kys
Vernor Vinge, Eine Tiefe am Himmel (A Deepness in the Sky)
Ertugrul Edirne for the cover of Die Ruinen von Acharr
Emmanuel Henné for the cover of Sprecher der Anderen
Frank M. Lewecke for the cover of Butlers Djihad
Franz Miklis for the cover of Mondmysterien
Mario Moritz for the cover of Future World
Oliver Scholl for the cover of Der geheime Krieg
Oliver Scholl for the cover of Perry Rhodan, Andromeda
Thomas Thiemeyer for the cover of Der Asteroidenkrieg
Thomas Thiemeyer for the cover of Hahn
BAFTA Winners Announced
The BAFTA Awards were presented by the British Academy of Film, Television and Arts were awarded on February 15. Below are genre films which were honored.
Best Film: "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King"
Best Screenplay (Adapted): "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King"
Best Cinematography: "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King"
Best Achievement in Special Visual Effects: "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King"
Best Make Up/Hair: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
Timberwolf and iBooks Sign Deal
Timberwolf Press and iBooks have announced a publications and distribution agreement. According to the terms of the agreement, iBooks has acquired the rights to publish several Timberwolf Press books as mass market paperbacks.
Wooden Rocket Nominations Open
The nominating process for the second annual Wooden Rocket award to honor excellence in sf on the web has begun. This year, awards will be presented in seventeen categories. Anyone may nominate or vote in the process, which is described at http://www.WoodenRocket.com. This year's awards will be presented in the following categories: Best Online Magazine, Best Print-to-Web Magazine, Best Author Web Site, Best Artist Web Site, Best Gallery Web Site, Best Print Publisher Web Site, Best E-book Publisher Web Site, Best E-book Web Site, Best Official Movie Web Site, Best Fan Movie Web Site, Best Official TV Web Site, Best Fan TV Web Site, Best Online SFF store, Best Fan Web Site Home Page, Best Directory Web Site, Best Convention/Society Web Site, Best Foreign Language Web Site. The awards will be presented in July.
Crystal Moon at the Heart of Star
Astronomers have announced that they have discovered a crystal the size of the Earth's Moon at the heart of a pulsating white dwarf, BPM 37093, the only known pulsating white dwarf in the Milky Way. Scientists believe the discovery may help create more accurate estimates of the age of the Milky Way.
The 30th Annual Saturn Award Nominations
The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films has announced this year's nominees for the Saturn Awards. The awards honor excellence in science fiction and fantasy film and television.
Best Science Fiction Film:
Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Cradle Of Life
The Matrix Revolutions
Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines
X2: X-Men United
Best Fantasy Film:
The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen
The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King Peter Pan
Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl
Best Horror Film:
Final Destination 2
Freddy Vs. Jason
Jeepers Creepers 2
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
28 Days Later
Best Action/Adventure/Thriller Film:
The Italian Job
Kill Bill, Vol. 1
The Last Samurai
Best Animated Film:
Looney Tunes: Back In Action
Sinbad: Legend Of The Seven Seas
Tom Cruise (The Last Samurai)
Johnny Depp (Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl)
Albert Finney (Big Fish)
Crispin Glover (Willard)
Viggo Mortensen (The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King)
Elijah Wood (The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King)
Kate Beckinsale (Underworld)
Jessica Biel (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre)
Cate Blanchett (The Missing)
Jennifer Connelly (The Hulk)
Jamie Lee Curtis (Freaky Friday)
Uma Thurman (Kill Bill, Vol. 1)
Best Supporting Actor:
Sean Astin (The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King)
Sonny Chiba (Kill Bill, Vol. 1)
Ian McKellen (The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King)
Geoffrey Rush (Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl)
Andy Serkis (The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King)
Ken Watanabe (The Last Samurai)
Best Supporting Actress:
Ellen DeGeneres (Finding Nemo)
Keira Knightley (Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl)
Lucy Liu (Kill Bill, Vol. 1)
Kristanna Loken (Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines)
Miranda Otto (The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King)
Peta Wilson (The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen)
Best Performance By A Younger Actor:
Jenna Boyd (The Missing)
Rachel Hurd-Wood (Peter Pan)
Sosuke Ikematsu (The Last Samurai)
Lindsay Lohan (Freaky Friday)
Frankie Muniz (Agent Cody Banks)
Jeremy Sumpter (Peter Pan)
Danny Boyle (28 Days Later)
Peter Jackson (The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King)
Bryan Singer (X2: X-Men United)
Quentin Tarantino (Kill Bill, Vol. 1)
Gore Verbinski (Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl)
Edward Zwick (The Last Samurai)
Alex Garland (28 Days Later)
Heather Hach, Leslie Dixon (Freaky Friday)
Daniel Harris, Michael Dougherty (X2: X-Men United)
Andrew Stanton, Bob Peterson, and David Reynolds (Finding Nemo)
Quentin Tarantino (Kill Bill, Vol. 1)
Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, and Peter Jackson (The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King)
Klaus Badelt (Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl)
Danny Elfman (The Hulk)
Jerry Goldsmith (Looney Tunes: Back In Action)
Thomas Newman (Finding Nemo)
John Ottman (X2: X-Men United)
Howard Shore (The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King)
Kym Barrett (The Matrix Revolutions)
Ngila Dickson, and Richard Taylor (The Lord Of the Rings: The Return Of The King)
Louise Mingenbach (X2: X-Men United)
Janet Patterson (Peter Pan)
Penny Rose (Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl)
Jacqueline West (The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen)
Best Make Up:
Rick Baker, Bill Corso, and Robin Luce (The Haunted Mansion)
Jeff Dawn, John Rosengrant (Terminator 3: Rise Of the Machines)
Ve Neill and Martin Samuel (Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl)
Trefor Proud, Balazs Novak (Underworld)
Richard Taylor, and Peter King (The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King)
Gordon Smith (X2: X-Men United)
Best Special Effects:
Mike Fink, Richard Hollander, Stephen Rosenbaum & Mike Verzina (X2: X-Men United)
John Gaeta, Kim Libreri, George Murphy, & Craig Hayes (The Matrix Revolutions)
Pablo Helman, Dan Taylor, Allen Hall, & John Rosengrant (Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines)
John Knoll, Hal Hickel, Terry D. Frazee & Charles Gibson (Pirates Of the Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl)
Dennis Muren, Ed Hirsh, Colin Brady, & Michael Lantieri (The Hulk)
Jim Rygiel, Joe Letteri, Randall William Cook, & Alex Funke (The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King)
Best Network Television Series:
Buffy The Vampire Slayer
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
Star Trek: Enterprise
Best Syndicated/Cable Television Series:
Dead Like Me
The Dead Zone
Best Television Presentation:
Children Of Dune
The Diary Of Ellen Rimbauer
Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Best Actor In A Television Series:
Richard Dean Anderson (Stargate SG-1)
Scott Bakula (Star Trek: Enterprise)
David Boreanaz (Angel)
Michael Shanks (Stargate SG-1)
Michael Vartan (Alias)
Tom Welling (Smallville)
Best Actress In A Television Series:
Eliza Dushku (Tru Calling)
Jennifer Garner (Alias)
Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy The Vampire Slayer)
Kristin Kreuk (Smallville)
Ellen Muth (Dead Like Me)
Amber Tamblyn (Joan Of Arcadia)
Best Supporting Actor In A Television Series:
Alexis Denisof (Angel)
Victor Garber (Alias)
John Glover (Smallville)
James Marsters (Buffy The Vampire Slayer/Angel)
Michael Rosenbaum (Smallville)
Nick Stahl (Canivale)
Best Supporting Actress In A Television Series:
Jolene Blalock (Star Trek: Enterprise)
Charisma Carpenter (Angel)
Victoria Pratt (Mutant X)
Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactica)
Amanda Tapping(Stargate SG-1)
Best DVD Release:
Bionicle – Mask Of Light
The Hitcher 2
Best DVD Special Edition Release:
Black Hawk Down
Harry Potter & The Chamber Of Secrets
The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers (The Extended Cut)
Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl
Best DVD Classic Film Release:
The Adventures Of Robin Hood
Dead Of Night
The Lion King
Once Upon A Time In The West
20,000 Leagues Under The Sea
Best DVD Collection:
The Adventures Of Indiana Jones DVD Collection
Jack Ryan Special Edition DVD Collection
Lon Chaney Collection
Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection 2 – 4
Best DVD Television Release:
Battlestar Galactica Complete Epic Series
The Complete Firefly
Hercules: The Legendary Adventures 1 – 2
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine 1 – 7
Steven Spielberg Presents Taken
Wiseguy, Season 1, Part 1 – 2
The Lifetime Achievement Award: John Williams
The Life Career Award: Blake Edwards
The George Pal Memorial Award: Ridley Scott
The Dr. Donald A. Reed Award: Gale Anne Hurd
The Visionary Award: Paul G. Allen
The Filmmakers Showcase Award: Eli Roth